Tag: lemon water

What Do I Eat Today – The Importance of Liquids

what do I eat today liquids

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu focuses on the importance of liquids, especially at breakfast.

Liquids are alkalizing to the gut, help cleanse the colon, and have so many other benefits.

Start your day with lemon juice and water, followed by Green Drink. Enjoy my Herbal Tea recipe with ginger and cinnamon, and take a probiotic- I like Bio-K+.

Chose from two smoothies – my Tropitaya Smoothie, this month with fresh Ginger and Turmeric, or my Tropical Green Smoothie with Ginger.

For lunch we have Creamy Carrot Soup, and Raw Cucumber & Avocado Gazpacho is a cooling afternoon snack. For dinner, Creamy Broccoli Soup finishes the day.

lemon water

First Thing in the Morning

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

berry parfait

For Breakfast – Tropitaya or Tropical Green Smoothie

This “What do I Eat Today” menu includes a Tropitaya or Tropical Green Smoothie. The Tropitaya Smoothie is one of the most popular smoothies (and one of my favorites) at our stores in New Jersey and San Diego. In this month's menu, I add fresh turmeric and ginger.

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An alternative to my Tropitaya Smoothie in this menu, my Tropical Green Smoothie adds fruit and vegetables to Chef V's Tropical Green Drink. Optionally you can add 1 tbsp pea protein, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp fresh turmeric to the smoothie.

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creamy carrot soup

Lunch – Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy and delicious without dairy, this Carrot Soup recipe uses cashews to add richness and flavor. Fast and easy to make, the recipe is perfect for two, tasty and healthy. Add fresh turmeric and ginger for additional benefits.

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Afternoon Snack – Chef V's Raw Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Cool and creamy, my Gazpacho is a great light snack. You can easily double or triple my recipe and have delicious leftovers. The beauty of my veggie-rich recipe is that its high water and fiber content slows how fast you eat and fills you up quicker.

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Dinner – Creamy Broccoli Soup

My Creamy Broccoli Soup is for dinner. Made with coconut milk and coconut oil, the fiber in this soup supports gut health and has anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties. For additional gut health assistance, try my recipe variation adding fresh turmeric and ginger.

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What Do I Eat Today – Savory Fall Foods

This month’s menu features hearty recipes that fill the belly as the days get shorter and cooler. I’m featuring pumpkin again this month, one of my favorite vegetables and a super food.

Start your day with lemon juice & water, then followup with Green Drink. Breakfast is a yummy Creamy Berry Parfait, and lunch is a filling Pumpkin & Carrot Stew with Quinoa. Dinner is Pumpkin Lasagna with Rosemary Ricotta.  Dessert is a luscious vegan and gluten free Pumpkin Pie made with my Pumpkin Purée and Pumpkin Spice Blend recipes.

First Thing in the Morning

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I’m hungry to have my Green Drink.

For Breakfast – Creamy Berry Parfait

I make this recipe a lot, it feels like a splurge but it’s healthy, full of fresh berries and nut flavors. I like to make it in a mason jar, easy to grab and run on a busy morning.

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Lunch – Fall Pumpkin + Carrot Stew with Quinoa

My pumpkin stew is made with mellow spices for a flavorful and healthy mid-day meal. This stew can be prepared a day ahead. It’s great to take to work or enjoy for dinner the next day, or for a warm and healthy meal for the kids to come home to and easily reheat.

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Dinner – Pumpkin Lasagna & Rosemary Ricotta

Macadamia nuts make a luscious “ricotta” and the pumpkin sauce for this recipe is savory with flavorful ingredients. A hearty lasagna made lighter with limited high carb ingredients.

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Dessert – Vegan & Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

My oh my, pumpkin pie … how I love thee,
But how you seem to hate my belly.
For each sinfully delicious bite I take,
Your sweet and milky richness makes my tummy ache.
Is there a way to make you more nutritious,
All the while keeping you equally delicious?
The good news is yes there is,
And showing you how is my biz. (Mic drop)

Bon Appétit! – Veronica

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What Do I Eat Today – Pumpkin!

what do I eat today liquids

This month's menu will convince you that pumpkins can be refreshing and delicious anytime. Pumpkin recipes aren't just for cold weather!  And they are a super food, with “substantial medicinal properties” says the NIH.

Start your day with lemon juice & water, then followup with Green Drink. Breakfast is a yummy Pumpkin Protein Smoothie and lunch is a filling Pumpkin Squash Salad with Quinoa. For an afternoon snack you get my Spicy Pumpkin Hummus, and dinner is Curried Pumpkin Soup.

First Thing in the Morning

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

berry parfait

For Breakfast – Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

This smoothie tastes rich and decadent – but it is vegan and gluten free as well. I use raw cashews and my own Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend to make this a healthy, delicious treat that won’t make you bloated. – Veronica

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creamy carrot soup

Lunch – Warm Pumpkin Salad

Warm pumpkin salad: this is a delicious fall treat for those first cool days that signal the end of summer. It’s very filling and makes you feel full even though it’s a salad. It’s also very healthy and vegan.

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Afternoon Snack – Spicy Golden Pumpkin Hummus

This treat is so yummy you can eat it with gluten free crackers, veggies, on a veggie sandwich. For a party or everyday, I know you’ll enjoy it.  make it with my Organic Pumpkin Purée.

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Dinner – Creamy Curry Pumpkin Soup

The only thing more comforting than a bowl of soup is a bowl of homemade soup that is both vegan and gluten-free. There’s something special about cooking comforting meals like this during the Fall that will warm you up and have your kitchen smelling festive.

Cozy up with someone you love and enjoy this delicious pumpkin soup on a cool fall night!

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The Health Benefits Of Drinking Breakfast

drinking breakfast

Genetics isn’t the only reason V maintains a slim figure. For years, a vital component of her weight-management and gut-health strategy has been breaking the daily fast with liquids. Replacing a conventional breakfast with liquids has many health benefits and V’s here to explain…

If you’ve been following me for years, you already know how important NOT eating breakfast is.

But if you’re new to this concept, maybe you’re thinking, “Wait. I thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day.”

Now, I don’t wanna suggest that your mom didn’t know what she was talking about when you were a kid. Without doubt, eating nutrient-dense foods like fruit and eggs is important for a developing brain and body.

However, now that you’re an adult, your metabolism might be starting to slow down. And one reason why might not have anything to do with your age. Rather, it’s the fact that your body has a high toxic load. In other words, your detoxification organs such as the liver can’t clear toxins out more quickly than they accumulate.

There are several reasons why toxic overload occurs. For example, heavy metals can accumulate in your body. There’s pesticides from the food supply and harsh chemicals in skin care products, hair care products and household cleaners.

So what does this have to do with not eating food for breakfast and instead only having liquids when it’s time to break your fast?

The answer is that by not eating food, you’re giving your body a longer time to detoxify.

lemon water

V’s Liquid Breakfast Routine

Actually, before I break my fast with Organic Green Drink, I have a tall glass of warm lemon water. Then I wait until I’m hungry to have a Green Drink.

Like naturally waking up with the morning light instead of being startled awake by a harsh alarm clock, a liquid breakfast gently wakes up your digestive system. And the water and Green Drink keeps the detoxification going. Your body naturally detoxifies every night. Or at least it tries to. But when you eat a standard breakfast first thing in the morning, your digestive and detoxification systems are hard at work again.

Now, in order to feel satisfied with a liquid breakfast, here’s what I do…

About half an hour after having my Green Drink, I’ll make a smoothie with fruit, veggies, vegan protein (pea protein is my fav) and healthy fats such as avocado, chia and flax seeds.

With my cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier (which you can get as a complementary download with a purchase of a CHEF V 21 DAY CHALLENGE), you’ll never get bored of smoothies.

In addition to my cookbook smoothie recipes, I have even more smoothie recipes on my blog.  My Tropitaya Smoothie, featuring super-easy-to-digest pea protein, is one of the most popular. I also like to add ginger and turmeric to it to support my metabolism and keep inflammation in check.

berry parfait

Benefits of Drinking Your Breakfast

In addition, I’ll add ingredients that support my gut health without bloating my belly, such as bio-k fermented vegan products. Unlike regular probiotic drinks that have dairy—one of the biggest triggers of inflammation in the body—the vegan probiotic drinks I use have fermented oat and pumpkin seed as a base.

Not only does a liquid breakfast make it easy for the digestive system to “wake up,” there are other benefits as well.

Of course, you could have a liquid breakfast consisting of coffee, orange juice and Red Bull to kickstart your day. Obviously, that ain’t healthy. But as long as you’re sticking to a routine of lemon water or herbal tea; Organic Green Drink followed by a smoothie with vegan protein and a small amount of fats, you’ll be supporting your health in many ways.

Healthy liquid breakfasts may help prevent overacidity in the gut enviroment (stimulates alkalinity) and help cleanse the colon of harmful bacteria.

But don’t just take my word for it. There’s plenty of research that supports this. For instance, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests that a liquid breakfast improved the blood sugar levels of 123 patients with type 2 diabetes.

Another study in the journal, Appetite, concluded that a plant-based liquid breakfast (made with plant protein) led to consuming less calories and was more satisfying to the subjects than eating a conventional breakfast.

In general, I believe that liquid breakfasts are awesome for improving digestion, boosting detoxification and sharpening mental focus.

Give it a try for a couple weeks and see how you feel. For me and my husband, Brandon, and for thousands of Chef V customers, making the switch from a conventional breakfast to a liquid one has been one of the simplest yet most profound things we’ve done to look and feel our best.

Love,

V

What Do I Eat Today – A Fresh Vegan Menu

what do I eat today retreat

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu is a bit different. It is focused on cooling, fresh, seasonal foods. And the entire menu is vegan.

Start your day with lemon water, then green drink. My Berry Parfait is a light 'begin' the day' breakfast. Try my chilled raw cucumber avocado gazpacho for a creamy, refreshing lunch. For dinner, grilled artichokes are so good! Serve them with my Green Soup recipe topped with lemon basil pesto made with fresh herbs.

lemon water

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

berry parfait

For Breakfast – Berry Parfait

My raw berry parfait is made with nuts. Here's a tip: many raw food recipes call for soaking nuts. Why? Soaking nuts (from 2 hours to overnight) improves  the flavor and  nutritional value of the nuts by releasing dust, residue and tannin into the water, leaving the nuts with a softer, buttery texture and increasing their digestibility. Never use the soak water – always discard it.

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For Lunch – Chef V's Raw Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho

Cool and creamy, soups are a great way to start a meal, but are also awesome as a main course. You can easily double or triple my recipe and have delicious leftovers. The beauty of my veggie-rich recipe is that its high water and fiber content slows how fast you eat and fills you up quicker.

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grilled artichoke

Dinner – Grilled Artichoke with Two Sauces 

Grilled artichokes, precooked and finished at the picnic. They’ll love these on the barbecue. Serve with my two vegan sauces:  Raw Horseradish Mayonnaise, and  Vegan Herb Aioli.

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Also for Dinner – Green Soup with Lemon Basil Pesto

Green veggies are central to this recipe, full of vitamins. Cannellini beans add fiber and richness. A lovely soup for celebrating the end of winter, the bounty of summer crops, or anytime you crave something super fresh and seasonal.

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What Do I Eat Today – A Chef V Retreat Menu

what do I eat today retreat

This menu plan is from one of my retreat events. My retreats are three day wellness experiences in gorgeous locations with lots of activities and of course, great food.

At my retreats, we start with lemon water then Green Drink. For breakfast, in this menu plan I serve Smoothie Bowls with an abundance of fresh organic fruit to top the bowls.

For lunch, I serve a Green Salad with Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing. And we have a snack – my Easy Hummus with carrot slices, cucumber, celery, snap peas, and Simple Mills almond flour crackers.

For dinner,  We have grilled Miso Glazed Salmon with Wasabi Sweet Potato Puree and Asparagus. And the best for last – my Chai Spiced Cakes with Ginger Icing.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

breakfast smoothie

For Breakfast – Smoothie Bowl

My breakfast smoothie is delicious, good for you, and easy to make. What's not to like?

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For Lunch – Chef V's Green Salad with Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

Green is good! Starting with fresh locally sourced organic greens, add carrot, celery, radish, red onion, and grilled chicken (optional). Top your salad with my Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.

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salmon sweet potato puree asparagus

Dinner – Miso Glazed Salmon with Wasabi Sweet Potato Puree and Asparagus  

This ginger glazed salmon is super easy. For the salmon I just broiled it for 5 minutes with this marinade. Let the marinade sit for 30 minutes on the fish before cooking.

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Dessert – Chai Spiced Cakes with Ginger ICing

This recipe may seem long and daunting but it’s really easy and worth it! Most the ingredients are spices that you hopefully already have.

This makes a lot of cupcakes so I keep them in a bag I frosted in the fridge. Pop one out and place in microwave and then top with frosting when done. These are great to have in the house for a delightful yet healthy treat when you have a sweet tooth.

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What Do I Eat Today – Menu featuring Turkey Risotto

what do I eat today turkey risotto

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, a Gnger Apple Berry Smoothie you are going to love.  For lunch, my Spicy Vegetable Soup, and for dinner,  Turkey Risotto, demonstrated in a Chef V Cooking School video.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I'm hungry to have my Green Drink.

ginger apple berry smoothie

For Breakfast – Ginger Apple Berry Smoothie

A morning ginger apple berry smoothie not only tastes great but is loaded with antioxidants to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.

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My “What do I Eat today” lunch is Spicy Veggie Soup. This is a spicy vegetable soup with jalapeno, quinoa, zucchini, black beans, and lots of spices. Vegan and gluten free. Add or reduce spices if you like your soup milder or super hot.

Get the recipe here.

Dinner – Turkey Risotto

A super simple recipe, it has only 7 ingredients and is so easy to make. It has so much flavor, is so filling and balanced, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! “You don't even know do', it's the BEST Risotto!”

While most risottos have a lot of cream and butter, we're not going to use those. Using arborio rice, this risotto has a nice creamy texture that we'll make using vegan broth.

This recipe is featured in my Cooking series on YouTube and you can watch me
prepare the recipe here.

Veronica and cleanse ingredients

What Do I Eat Today – Featuring Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

what do I eat today

This “What Do I Eat Today” menu starts with warm lemon water, then Green Drink. For breakfast, a new recipe for an Immunity Smoothie you are going to love.  For dinner,  my new recipe for Almond Flour Crusted chicken, served with my Mandarin Asian Salad.

lemons

I have lemon water in the morning and then I wait until I’m hungry to have my Green Drink.

immunity smoothie

For Breakfast – Chef V’s Immunity Smoothie

I’ve created this new Immunity Smoothie to start the day. Made with ginger, turmeric, kale and coconut water, it gives me extra drive as I start a busy day.

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For Lunch – Chef V’s ‘Chipotle’ Mango Burrito Bowl

My “What do I Eat today” lunch is my Mango Avocado Burrito Bowl, a spin on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s awesome burrito bowls. Use my recipe as a starting point and add any of your favorite ingredients like grilled chicken or fish to make your own. You can also turn this into an easy wrap with gluten-free tortillas.  – Veronica

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Almond Flour Crusted Chicken, Mandarin Asian Salad

Dinner – Almond Flour Crusted Chicken

A new recipe that uses crushed almond flour crackers and a honey mustard sauce. It makes a delicious main course, accompanied by my Mandarin Asian Salad.

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Dinner – Mandarin Asian Salad

You can use lots of different greens to make this Asian inspired salad but I always include cabbage. If you are cleansing, just skip the mandarin oranges to keep it cleanse friendly.

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Raw Veggies Vs. Cooked: Does It Matter For Gut Health?

what do I eat today liquids

We know that eating more veggies can boost the number of friendly bacteria in your gut. But what’s a mystery to most people is if how we prepare our veggies affects gut health in any way. “V” reveals if there’s a winner between raw veggies or cooked plant-based foods. 

If you’re a nutrition research geek like me, you’ve probably come across lots of studies on intermittent fasting, vegetarian diets, keto diets and other types of eating protocols. But if there’s one type of food study that’s as rare as finding a perfectly round pearl in an oyster, it’s this subject…

Is there a difference between eating raw plants versus cooked veggies? As I’m writing this, it’s August, or as I like to call this time of year, Rawgust! Because it’s so hot out, it’s the best time of year to consume a raw, plant-based diet. All I know is that when it’s 100 degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is slave over a hot stove, cooking up a huge slab of meat. Nope, this time of year, it’s all smoothies, mocktails and salads (and maybe a gazpacho or two).

So I like to go with my gut and listen to what my body is craving—as long as the craving is for something healthy. But beyond my intuition, is there any research to back up my craving for raw food? Will going raw any time of year support the trillions of friendly bacteria in my gut microbiome?

Well, it got me wondering? So I did my best nutritional Sherlock Holmes investigating. Unfortunately, the trail went cold. But I persisted and eventually found what is believed to be the first study to bring up this nutritional debate.

salad

Raw Vs Cooked Veggies For Gut Health

Before we get into the research, chew on this…

Horses don’t eat cooked food. Neither do chimps or gorillas. Yet they’re strong as bulls. In fact, humans are the only animals that cook their food. Many paleontologists believe our human ancestors developed bigger brains precisely when eating cooked food became the norm. In the hundreds of thousands of years since, our gut microbiomes have been influenced largely from cooking bones and meat.

It’s no wonder that there has hardly been any research looking into the effects of raw plants on the gut microbiome.

But finally, in 2019, researchers from Harvard University put that question to the test … at least in mice, not humans. And the results were not what I expected.

What the researchers discovered was that the mice who ate raw sweet potatoes essentially committed murder on several of their gut species.

But if there’s one thing that drives me a little nuts is when I hear people say that raw food is hard for the body to digest. That might be true if you’re trying to eat a raw, high-starch veggie like a potato or sweet potato. I’m definitely not suggesting eating raw potatoes.

Why the researchers didn’t give the mice lots of other raw veggies, like say, lettuce, I can’t explain. I also have no clue why more research hasn’t been done on the effects of raw veggies on the gut microbiome versus cooked veggies.

veronica and kale

Eating Raw in Rawgust: Benefits

Now let me ask you something. If you’ve been partying in June and July like it’s 1999 and your digestion, energy and skin need a reboot, what do you think is better for you: cooked meat or salad?

Of course a diet high in raw veggies is much easier on your system than cooked meat. Now I admit, there are a few veggies that you may have a harder time digesting raw rather than cooked. This is especially true of the nightshade veggies:

  • Peppers (it doesn’t matter what kind or what color)
  • Tomatoes
  • Egglplant
  • Potatoes (which we covered)

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of raw broccoli either. But when it comes to green, leafy veggies such as spinach, kale, collard greens, lettuce, parsley, chard and dandelion, the research doesn’t lie. There are so many health benefits of the 7 leafy greens that are featured in Organic Green Drink that I could write a book about it.

In fact, I sort of did: a cookbook, Making Cleansing Easier, which features an intro that talks about several of these health benefits.

The bottom line is that if you want a health makeover, let the sizzling summer months be the perfect time to boost your intake of raw veggies. Your gut microbiome will thank you for it.

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